The Swan Range -- Books and Stories by Carol Buchanan

Garden Books

Before I changed to writing historical fiction about my home state, Montana, I wrote three books about gardens. Two of them are historical, and one is contemporary as of 1999. Although they are out of print, all are still available on Amazon for people to buy as used or collectible books.

Wordsworth's Gardens (2001)

Wordsworth's Gardens was originally published by Texas Tech University Press in 2001. Wordsworth's GardensIn 2002 we launched the book at Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's home for the last 35 years of his life. It also was a 2002 Top Ten Finalist for the Washington State Book Award.

It is still the only book I'm aware of that explores the deep connection between the poetry of William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) and his gardens. One of the greatest poets of England, he wrote to a friend that if he hadn't been a poet, he would have become a garden designer. Indeed, he designed gardens for his friends long after he because famous as a poet, and he continued to work on his own gardens at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount. (Both of his homes, by the way, are open to the public.)

The luscious photographs in the book were all taken by Richard Buchanan.

The Wildlife Sanctuary Garden (1999)

At the time I wrote this book, we lived near Seattle, in King County. Wildlife Sanctuary GardenThe state had a program available to encourage homeowners to landscape their yards in such a way as to encourage wildlife -- by which they meant birds and small mammals, not deer, mountain lions, or bears! We built a garden and received the coveted plaque that designated our lot as a Wildlife Sanctuary Garden. This book describes the process and how to build an eco-friendly landscape around your home.

Again, Richard Buchanan is the photographer as well as chief engineer for the water garden.

Brother Crow, Sister Corn: Traditional American Indian Gardening (1997)

Brother Crow, Sister Corn

In this book, I not only explore the methods of gardening employed by American Indians, I look at the central role gardening and growing produce played in the cultures of the people who gardened. A vast circle of trade existed among the tribes West of the Mississippi, who exchanged produce and meat among themselves.